later on

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mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
“There’ll be a bus later on, but we might as well walk”
Does this sentence mean that the speaker will be ready to walk if there is a bus later.
Thanks.
 
  • tphuong122002

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese Vietnam
    Hi,
    “There’ll be a bus later on, but we might as well walk”
    Does this sentence mean that the speaker will be ready to walk if there is a bus later.
    Thanks.
    I think that the speaker implies two options: 1) They can wait and take a bus because it is coming soon; or 2) They can walk.
     

    94kittycat

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    But the sentence doesn't answer "why".
    It doesn't need to!

    I think that the speaker implies two options: 1) They can wait and take a bus because it is coming soon; or 2) They can walk.
    It doesn't say in any way that the speaker is going to take the bus at all. He/she is simply saying that one is coming, but he/she isn't going to walk instead.
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think that the speaker implies two options: 1) They can wait and take a bus because it is coming soon; or 2) They can walk.
    The key to understanding the sentence is in the expression, “but we might as well walk.” When you say that you "might as well" do X rather than Y, you're saying that, at this moment, it makes more sense to you do to X:
    We could buy this new TV today, but we might as well wait until it's on sale next week.
    My cousin never reads her mail, so, rather than send her a letter, I might as well just call her.

    Therefore, in Mimi's example, there is no doubt that the speaker has decided to walk rather than to wait for a bus that will come sometime "later on" (and not "soon," as you suggest.). For all we know, "later on" could refer to two hours later.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    The key to understanding the sentence is in the expression, “but we might as well walk.” When you say that you "might as well" do X rather than Y, you're saying that, at this moment, it makes more sense to you do to X:
    We could buy this new TV today, but we might as well wait until it's on sale next week.
    My cousin never reads her mail, so, rather than send her a letter, I might as well just call her.

    Therefore, in Mimi's example, there is no doubt that the speaker has decided to walk rather than to wait for a bus that will come sometime "later on" (and not "soon," as you suggest.). For all we know, "later on" could refer to two hours later.
    Joelline is right. The implication is that they'll arrive at their destination just as fast or faster if they start walking now, than if they wait for the bus which will come later. It's not an implication, for example, that it's more healthful to walk. As Joelline stated, "might as well" signifies a contrast between x and y. The contrast here almost certainly implies which is faster, or that both ways are equally fast.
     

    roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    If you want to make it have two options you need to change the sentence:

    "The next bus will come at (XX:XX). We can stay here and wait, or we can walk. What would you like to do?"

    "The bus will come at (XX:XX). We could wait here or we could walk."

    These two sentences are giving you the option to either a) stay and wait, or b) walk.

    The other sentence that Mimi wrote is not giving those options. It is saying that it is better to walk because the bus will come later rather than sooner.

    Pablo
     
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